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(a) Establishment of Development Permit. A development permit shall be obtained from the Building Inspector before construction or development begins within any area of special flood hazard established in Section 1169.03 (b). Application for a development permit shall be made on forms furnished by the Building Inspector and may include, but not be limited to: site specific topographic plans drawn to scale showing the nature, location, dimension and elevations of the area in question; existing or proposed structures, fill, storage of materials, drainage facilities, and the location of the foregoing. Specifically, the following information is required:
(1) Elevation in relation to mean sea level of the lowest floor, including basement, of all proposed structures located in special flood hazard areas where base flood elevation data are utilized;
(2) Elevation in relation to mean sea level to which any proposed nonresidential structure will be floodproofed in accordance with Section 1169.05(b)(2) where base flood elevation data are utilized;
(3) Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the floodproofing methods for any nonresidential structure meet the floodproofing criteria in Section 1169.05(b)(2) where base flood elevation data are utilized;
(4) Description of the extent to which any watercourse will be altered or relocated as a result of proposed development and certification by a registered professional engineer that the flood carrying capacity of the watercourse will not be diminished;
(5) Certification by a registered professional engineer, architect, or surveyor of the structure’s as-built lowest floor or floodproofed elevation; and,
(6) Certification by a registered professional engineer or architect of the construction cost of the improvement.
(b) Exemption from Filing a Development Permit. An application for a development permit shall not be required for painting activities. An application shall also not be required for other maintenance work such as roofing, basement sealing, or for small nonstructural development activities (except for filling and grading) valued at less than twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500). Any proposed action exempt from filing for a Development Permit is also exempt from the standards of this ordinance.
(c) Designation of the Flood Damage Prevention Administrator. The Building Inspector is hereby appointed to administer and implement this Chapter by granting or denying development permit applications in accordance with its provisions.
(d) Duties and Responsibilities of the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector’s duties and responsibilities shall include but are not limited to:
(1) Permit Review.
A. Review all development permit applications to determine that the permit requirements of this Chapter have been satisfied.
B. Review all development permit applications to assure that all necessary permits have been received from those Federal, State or local governmental agencies from which prior approval is required. The applicant shall be responsible for obtaining such permits as required including permits issued by the Department of the Army under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
C. Review all development permit applications to determine if the proposed development is located within a designated floodway. Floodways are delineated in the Flood Boundary and Floodway Map or the Flood Insurance Rate Map of the Flood Insurance Study. Floodways may also be delineated in other sources of flood information. If the proposed development is located within a designated floodway, assure that the encroachment provisions of Section 1169.05 (c)(1) is met.
D. Inspect all development projects before, during, and after construction to ensure proper elevation of the structure and to ensure compliance with all provisions of this ordinance.
(2) Use of Other Base Flood Elevation and Floodway Data. Areas of special flood hazard where base flood elevation data have not been provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in accordance with Section1169.03 (b) are designated as Zone A on the Community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map. Within those areas, the Building Inspector shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize any base flood elevation and floodway data available from a Federal, State or other source, in order to administer Section 1169.05 (b)(1), Section 1169.05 (b)(2) and Section 1169.05 (c).
(3) Information to be Obtained and Maintained. Where base flood elevation data are utilized within areas of special flood hazard on the Flood Insurance Rate Map, regardless of the source of such data, the following provisions apply:
A. Obtain and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) of the lowest floor, including basement, of all new or substantially improved structures, and record whether or not such structures contain an enclosure below the lowest floor;
B. For all new or substantially-improved floodproofed non-residential structures:
1. Verify and record the actual elevation (in relation to mean sea level) to which the structure was floodproofed; and
C. Maintain for public inspection all records pertaining to the provisions of this Chapter including base flood elevation data, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, variance documentation, Conditional Letter of Map Revision, Letters of Map Revision, Letters of Map Amendment, and as-built elevations.
(4) Alteration of Watercourses.
A. Notify adjacent communities, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to any alteration or relocation of a watercourse, and submit evidence of such notification to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A watercourse shall be considered to be altered if any change occurs within its banks.
B. Maintain engineering documentation required in Section 1169.04 (a)(4) that the flood carrying capacity of the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse will not be diminished.
C. Require that necessary maintenance will be provided for the altered or relocated portion of said watercourse so that the flood carrying capacity will not be diminished.
(5) Interpretation of Flood Boundaries. Make interpretations, where needed, as to the exact location of the boundaries of the areas of special flood hazards (for example, where there appears to be a conflict between a mapped boundary and actual field conditions). Where a map boundary and elevations disagree, the elevations delineated in the flood elevation profile shall prevail. The person contesting the location of the boundary shall be given a reasonable opportunity to appeal the interpretation as provided in Section 1169.04 (e) hereof.
(e) Variance Procedure.
(1) Appeal Board.
A. The Board of Building and Zoning Appeals (BZA) as established by Charter Section 5.3 shall hear and decide appeals and requests for variances from the requirements of this Chapter.
B. The BZA shall hear and decide appeals when it is alleged that is an error in any requirement, decision or determination made by the Building Inspector in the enforcement or administration or this Chapter.
C. Those aggrieved by the decision of the BZA, or any interested party, may appeal such decision to the Court of Common Pleas of Lake County, Ohio, as provided in Ohio R.C. Chapter 2506.
D. In passing upon such applications, the BZA shall consider and make findings of fact on all elevations, all relevant factors, standards specified in other sections of this Chapter, and:
1. The danger that materials may be swept onto other lands to the injury of others;
2. The danger to life and property due to flooding or erosion damage;
3. The susceptibility of the proposed facility and its contents to flood damage and the effect of such damage on the individual owner;
4. The importance of the services provided by the proposed facility to the community;
5. The availability of alternative locations for the proposed use which are not subject to flooding or erosion damage;
6. The necessity to the facility of a waterfront location, where applicable;
7. The compatibility of the proposed use with existing and anticipated development;
8. The relationship of the proposed use to the comprehensive plan and flood plain management program for the area;
9. The safety of access to the property in times of flood for ordinary and emergency vehicles;
10. The expected heights, velocity, duration, rate of rise and sediment transport of the flood waters and the effects of wave action, if applicable, expected at the site; and
11. The costs of providing governmental services during and after flood conditions, including maintenance and repair of public utilities and facilities such as sewer, gas, electrical, and water systems, and streets and bridges.
E. Upon consideration of the factors of Section 1169.04 (e) (1) D. hereof and the purposes of this chapter, the BZA may attach such conditions to the granting of the variances as it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter.
F. The Flood Plain Administrator shall maintain the records of all appeal actions and report any variances to the Federal Emergency Management Agency upon request.
(f) Conditions for Variances.
(1) Variances may only be issued where due to physical characteristics of the property compliance with the requirements of this Chapter creates an exceptional hardship. Increased cost or inconvenience of meeting the requirements of this ordinance do not constitute an exception hardship.
(2) Generally, variances may be issued for new construction and substantial improvements to be erected on a lot of one-half acre or less in size contiguous to and surrounded by lots with existing structures constructed below the base flood level, providing the items in Section 1169.04 (e)(1)D. hereof have been fully considered. As the lot size increases beyond the one-half acre, the technical justification required for issuing the variance increases.
(3) Variances may be issued for the repair, restoration, reconstruction or rehabilitation of historic structures upon a determination that the proposed repair, restoration, reconstruction, or rehabilitation will not preclude the structure’s continued designation as a historic structure and the variance is the minimum necessary to preserve the historic character and design of the structure.
(4) Variances shall not be issued within any designated floodway if any increase in flood levels during the base flood discharge would result.
(5) Variances shall only be issued upon a determination that the variance is the minimum necessary, considering the flood hazard, to afford relief.
(6) Variances shall only be issued upon:
A. A showing of good and sufficient cause;
B. A determination that failure to grant the variance would result in exceptional hardship to the applicant;
C. A determination that the granting of a variance will not result in increased flood heights beyond that which is allowed in this chapter, additional threats to public safety, extraordinary public expense, create nuisances, cause fraud on or victimization of the public as identified in Section 1169.04 (e)(1)D. hereof, or conflict with existing local laws or ordinances; and
D. A determination that the structure or other development is protected by methods to minimize flood damages.
(7) Any applicant to whom a variance is granted shall be given written notice that the structure will be permitted to be built with a lowest floor elevation below the base flood elevation and that the cost of flood insurance will be commensurate with the increased risk resulting from the reduced lowest floor elevation.
(Ord. 2006-35. Passed 5-25-06.)